Keith Davey

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The Hon.
Keith Douglas Davey
Senator for York, Ontario
In office
February 24, 1966 – July 1, 1996
Appointed by Lester B. Pearson
Personal details
Born (1926-04-21)April 21, 1926
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died January 17, 2011(2011-01-17) (aged 84)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Catherine Isobel Hart (m. 1952 – c. 1975; marriage dissolved)
Dorothy Elizabeth Petrie (m. 1978 – d. 2011; his death)
Children Douglas, Ian, Catherine
Residence Toronto
Alma mater University of Toronto
Profession political organizer
Committees Chairman, Special Committee on Mass Media (1969–1970)
Chairman, Special Committee on Mass Public Communication in Canada (1968–1969)

Keith Douglas Davey, OC (April 21, 1926 – January 17, 2011) was a Canadian politician and campaign organizer.

Family, early life and education

Born in Toronto, Ontario to Charles Minto Davey (Toronto Star Production Manager) and Grace Viola (née Curtis), Keith Davey attended high school at North Toronto Collegiate Institute.[1] Davey graduated with a BA from the University of Toronto in 1949.[2]

Business career

Davey became a sales manager for CKFH, a Toronto radio station, from 1949 to 1960. The station was owned and managed by noted broadcaster Foster Hewitt.

Political career

Davey became a political organizer for the Liberal Party at the constituency level in Toronto in his early 20s, and joined the Executive of the Ontario Young Liberals in the 1950s, along with Judy LaMarsh (later a federal cabinet minister). In 1960 he became a campaign manager for his home riding of Eglinton.

Davey was appointed National Campaign Director of the Liberal Party of Canada in 1961. He directed the Liberal campaigns in 1962, 1963 and 1965. Commuting regularly between homes in Ottawa and Toronto, Davey played important roles in every federal Liberal campaign up to and including 1984, serving Prime Ministers Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, and John Napier Turner. These elections were held in 1968, 1972, 1974, 1979, 1980, and 1984.

CFL Commissioner

In 1966, Davey served briefly as the second commissioner of the Canadian Football League, resigning after less than two months on the job, due to stated incompatibility with many leading league figures.[3]

Appointed to Senate

He was appointed to the Senate of Canada by Lester Pearson in 1966, just before his 40th birthday. He resigned in 1996.


Davey was portrayed on an episode of King of Kensington as Senator Keith Davis on the episode titled Mr. King Goes to Ottawa; he was portrayed by actor Ken James.

He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1999.

In 1986, Davey published a political memoir, The Rainmaker: a Passion for Politics.


He married Catherine Isobel Hart in 1952; they had three children, Douglas, Ian and Catherine. The union was dissolved around 1975. He remarried to Dorothy Elizabeth Petrie in 1978.


Davey died on January 17, 2011, aged 84,[4] at Belmont House in Toronto. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease. He was survived by his second wife, and his three children from his first marriage.[5]


  1. ^
  2. ^ The Rainmaker: A Passion for Politics, by Keith Davey, Stoddart, Toronto, 1986
  3. ^ The Rainmaker: A Passion for Politics, by Keith Davey, 1986, Stoddart, Toronto
  4. ^ Notice of Keith Davey's death
  5. ^ Obituary for Keith Davey

External links

  • Keith Davey profile at The Canadian Encyclopedia
  • Keith Davey – Parliament of Canada biography
  • The Keith Davey Collection at the Victoria University Library at the University of Toronto

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Sydney Halter
Canadian Football League commissioner
Succeeded by
Ted Workman
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